Skip to main content

George Macpherson Genealogical Research

Identifier: MAC

Scope and Contents

As he wrote in the 1895 dedication, George Macpherson compiled this volume to leave for his son as a record of the history of the Macpherson clan, from their Scottish origins to their contribution in shaping the new nation. The complete title of the volume indicates its focus, "Notes bearing upon the clan Macpherson and upon the lives of Captain John Macpherson [and] Major Wm. Macpherson." The former settled in Philadelphia and made his fortune as a privateer during the French and Indian War. The home he built in Philadelphia Fairmount Park and named Mt. Pleasant still stands and while governed by the Fairmount Park Commission, it is administered by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His son William left the British army to fight with his fellow Pennsylvanians in the American Revolution. His Philadelphia home, Stouton, is also documented here. The volume consists primarily of 19th century clippings recounting the lives of the father and son as well as the history of Mt. Pleasant, particularly its purchase by Benedict Arnold for his Philadelphia wife Peggy Shippen. Most of the correspondence consists of letters from the various historical societies and related organizations in the U.S. and in Scotland responding to George Macpherson's requests for information. Copies of his original letters are not included. He did, however, insert occasional notes of explanation to certain events. There are also typescripts of 18th century news articles and correspondence, as well as other published writings and material pertaining to the 1895 "Clan Chattan Gathering" held at Cluny Castle, Kingussie. As often noted on the mounting pages, George received the latter as well as other documentation generated in Scotland from an Alexander Macpherson.


  • 1878-1905, undated


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The George Macpherson Genealogical Research is the physical property of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. The Museum holds literary rights only for material created by Museum personnel or given to the Museum with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication and for other purposes where stated.


1 linear foot

Language of Materials



George Macpherson compiled these records to document the history of the Macpherson clan from their Scottish origins to their contributions in the early history of the United States of America.

Custodial History

This volume was transferred from the Museum Library to the Archives in 1995.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Photographs in the Graphic Materials series were the Gift of Cyrus L. Merriam, 1937 and Major General W. C. Westmoreland, 1963.

Processing Information

These materials were arranged and described by Bertha Adams. Funded by a grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services.


Guide to the George Macpherson Genealogical Research
Finding aid prepared by Bertha Adams
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Funded by a grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services

Repository Details

Part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library and Archives Repository

Philadelphia Museum of Art
PO Box 7646
Philadelphia PA 19101-7646 United States